Posted in Book Stuff

Reading Fling: February 2023

Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

I have a problem. A book problem, that some of you may relate to. I pick up whatever book I feel like reading that day and end up in the middle of 15+ books at any given time. It’s starting to get frustrating because I can’t keep everything straight anymore.

Do any of you have this problem? My solution for myself is to practice self-discipline. So I made myself some rules so I will finish the books I read.

  1. I cannot start reading any book I have already read.
  2. I cannot start reading any books I never read before.
  3. I must pick a single book from each genre I read.
  4. Either read those books to completion or get rid of the book.

Books I am Reading Based on These Rules:

A disclaimer: I am not getting paid to recommend these books. I am sharing them in the interest of informing you of what I am reading, and am not getting compensated for mentioning these books, authors, and publishers.

Self-Help, Personal Development, and Psychology: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Fiction Short Stories and Anthologies: The Dragons Within anthologies by Balance of Seven Press (Not including the one I am published in, as I have already read it.)

Fiction Novels: Alienated by Melissa Landers, a local author from my home state that I met at a book fair.

Writing Reference: How to Become.a Fearless Writer by Nina Harrington

School Textbooks (2 titles): Early World Literature by Soomo Learning and The Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux.

What are you reading?

Until next time, F3s!

Posted in newsletter, Resources, Updates

Accountability and Productivity Proclivity: January 2023

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

As promised, I will discuss my goals and the methods I use to finish and meet those milestones this week.

To be clear, I am not getting paid or compensated in any way for the promotion of the products and books. I am suggesting them simply because they have helped me, and I want to share resources that might help you!

Goals

My goals are as follows:

  • Write 2 chapters of my current work in progress
  • Write a blog post weekly on the 3rd; 10th; 17th; 24th; and, if applicable, the 31st of each month
  • Do all of my homework assignments for the week
  • Read ahead in the school textbooks
  • Keep track of my word counts every day
  • Do at least one Spanish lesson every day
  • Read for fun and to learn every day
  • Hang out with friends at least once per month

Productivity Tools:

The first tool is a book. I read The 12-Week Year for Writers by Trevor Thrall et al. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited, and I found it immensely useful.

The basic premise is setting deadlines in shorter lengths of time throughout the year, which will help motivate the writer and help with procrastination. It offered a 12-Week deadline, 4 times per year, with a break week to evaluate and plan the next deadline sessions.

While this structure is beneficial for me, I had to tweak it. 12 weeks was too far away for me to really fathom how close I was to my goals, and I am on 8-week terms for school. So I decided to make my deadlines every 8 weeks and have six of these in an annual year with four weeks of rest.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be more productive. There’s a best-selling version that is geared toward the general public if writing isn’t your cup of tea. But the basic premise is the same.

It even suggests a way to make sure you’re focusing on your goals daily and making progress, which was invaluable for me. Feel free to tweak this method to fit what you need, with weekly check-ins and setting aside time for your goals.

The second and final tool I will suggest is the “Go Girl Planner and Organizer for Women” This planner is uniquely suited to working with the first tool because they are set up much the same way. The “Go Girl” phrase is not stamped anywhere on the outside of the planner, and a simple stamp of two “G”‘s is stamped on the cover. Please keep in mind that this planner is not just for women and that men can use it, too.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Until next time, F3’s!

Posted in newsletter, Updates, Writing

Sneak Peek Week: January 2023

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash

Hello, Family, Friends, and Fans!

As a part of my goals for 2023, I decided I would do weekly posts on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and, if applicable, the 31st of the month.

Here’s the catch: instead of making every post a “Writing Quest Update,” I have decided to make each week a different theme.

  • 3rd of the month: Writing Quest Update. Features updates on my personal life, my writing life, and my professional life.
  • 10th of the month: Sneek Peek Week. You will receive an excerpt or snippet from something I am working on, and I will talk about some struggles I face while writing.
  • 17th of the month: Reading Fling. This will include a list of things I am reading and book recommendations.
  • 24th of the month: Accountability and Productivity Proclivity. This will feature my goals and progress toward them as well as productivity methods and resources.
  • 31st of the month (when applicable): Frivolous Fun. I will post a fun poll, meme, or question just for laughs.

Snippet from Poseidon’s Pearl:

Leading up to this quote, the merman Prince River has been away on a trip and has returned in need of help. He saved a human from a riptide and needs help keeping her safe. So he goes to his best friend since childhood, Harvey, who agrees to help River.

This excerpt shows a little about River and Harvey’s dynamic.

*** Subject to change when published

River’s Point of View:

I breathed out a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Harvey.”

“Anything for his Royal Highness,” he called from deep inside his room. He preferred not to have bioluminescent jellyfish, just the algae.

“I thought I told you not to call me that, sarcastic or otherwise,” I said, a smile stretching my face. It felt good to be back home.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Royal-pain-in-my-ass.”

Writing Troubles:

I started the draft of Poseidon’s Pearl back in 2017. I went on to start and stop a couple drafts before buckling down and writing the 62k manuscript in 31 writing days. These days were not consecutive, and it took me three months to pen the first draft. This manuscript was the first novel-length project I had outlined and written to completion. But I had no idea how to edit.

For years I tried a bunch of different editing methods, interspersed with some life events that left me with long stretches of time that I didn’t write.

But then, once I figured out a method that worked for me, I dove head first. I went from the third draft to the fifth draft in about a year. But I neglected drafting other projects in favor of focusing on schoolwork, Write of Passion, and dealing with the dung bomb that was my life.

This means that my creative writing muscle was atrophed. That is, I could no longer write for hours on end, churning out 1,000-2,000 words per day. Now, getting 500 words of fiction is a challenge.

Lesson learned: I need balance between drafting and editing works so I don’t have to start from the beginning in terms of my creative writing muscles.

Thanks for supporting me! Until next time, F3’s!